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Ofcom reports surge in UK mobile broadband take-up

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In its UK Communications Market Report 2008, communications regulator Ofcom has identified a rapid increase in the use of mobile broadband in the UK.

According to Ofcom, following the launch of marketing campaigns for mobile broadband devices which enable consumers to access the internet on the move, there has been a surge in take-up with around 2 million adults in the UK saying that they had used a data card, USB modem or dongle to access the internet in March 2008.

The driver of this has been the sale of dongles, says Ofcom - small devices plugged into the USB port of laptops enabling internet access via a mobile network. Between February and June 2008, the number of dongle sales to consumers nearly doubled from 69,000 to 133,000 a month. During this five month period, there were 511,000 new mobile broadband connections in the UK.

Three-quarters of all mobile broadband users say that they access the internet via their dongle while at home and two-thirds of mobile broadband users say that they use both dongles and their landline to connect to the internet.

Ofcom also states that more than one in ten mobile phone users have accessed the internet on their mobile phone with the number of 3G mobile connections growing by 60 per cent in 2007 to reach 12.5 million subscribers - an increase of 4.7 million in 12 months.